Phil Pinnington, GGF Director of Health and Safety conveys his views and advice following yet another fatal accident in the construction industry.
Within the last month, another roofing contractor has appeared in court and found guilty of failing to ensure the scaffolding was installed by a competent person and that insufficient training had been given to the employee.
The link above gives more detailed information on some contributory factors which many in our industry will know sometimes still happens. But this isn’t just about the fine and the impact on the business. This accident caused the death of an individual and the loss to a family.
The industry standard for many years now has been to install from the inside of the property with sufficient protection from falling out.
In domestic glazing, it is acceptable to use ladders for final fit & sealing which is short duration low risk but you must make sure that your installers are competent and your risk assessments are clear that this is not the authorised way to work for long durations at height.
In the event that certain work has to be undertaken from the outside of the property, you have a duty to make sure that the right equipment is in place, that it is erected by a competent person.
If you’re having to erect a structure it’s inevitable that the person using it will be working from a platform for a longer period of time so your assessment should consider tools and materials and the best ways to get them into place as well as working with them.
All these controls may sound daunting, but they’re quick and simple and if your safety culture is maturing they will work.
Sometimes it takes real-life tragedies like this roofer to re-focus employee’s minds on their own safety and those who may be affected by what they do or don’t do.
I recall a conversation I had with my tutor when studying for my Health and Safety qualification. “Nobody comes to work to purposely injure themselves or anyone else”. Maybe it’s time we reminded our employees of this.